41 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
On the wall in one of the bedrooms in our house, is a series of hash marks. They start at about 3 feet high and continue to about six feet. Each hash mark contains a name and a date. These cryptic marks chronicle the growth of our two sons. The passage of time measured in feet and inches. How proud my sons were to see their growth from year to year. Physical growth is good, healthy, and normal. More important than physical growth, is spiritual growth. How can we grow up spiritually? With a good dose of Acts 2:42.
Acts 2:42 lists four things the early church did to grow up in their faith:
1. continuous study of doctrine
3. breaking of bread
Let’s take a quick look at each of the four items above.
1. ” … continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine …”
To us, this means Bible study. In order to grow up, we need to continually feed our souls with the truth of God’s Word.
- What can you do today to put more of God’s Word in your heart?
- Is anything growing in your heart (bitterness, jealousy, sketchy habits) taking up space needed for God’s Word?
The Greek word for fellowship means: 1) a gathering of like-minded Christians who encourage and teach each other, and 2) the works (sharing the gospel, helping the needy) of a group of like-minded people.
- Which type of fellowship do you need to grow your faith, teaching and encouragement or good works?
- Using your answer to point one, what will you do to start growing in fellowship?
3. Breaking of bread (a.k.a. communion)
Communion is a beautiful portrayal of the message of the Gospel; Christ sacrificing His life, giving His body, pouring out His blood, for you and for me. At the Last Supper, when Jesus implemented communion, Jesus asked His disciples to “Do this in remembrance of Me.” What does Jesus want us to remember? His sacrifice. True life is not about living for self. It’s about doing the will of God and sacrificing our lives for the sake of others.
- What can you sacrifice today to help someone else grow up in Christ … time … Starbucks … a plate of cookies … a personal note of encouragement?
- Name a certain area of life or character quality you need to improve. How can you more closely follow God’s will in this area?
The Greek word for prayers is proseuch, which simply means prayer addressed to God, to pray fervently. Blue Letter Bible adds the emphasis is not on the contents of the prayer, but its aim and its end. Don’t worry about impressing God with big intricate words, He knows your heart.
- Grow up and take a step of faith: I will lay aside my will and ask God to work His will concerning _____________________________.
- Thank God for how He will work His will for point 1..
Life is sweet! Grow up!
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